by Lynne Huntting
Despite plucking Paul Tracy from the IndyCar wastelands to contest this year's Indianapolis 500 - and possibly more - the KV Racing Technology team has confirmed that it will not be fielding a fifth car in the big race for co-owner Jimmy Vasser.
There is no IRL-mandated limit on the number of cars a team can field, but Vasser's co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven joked that there would be no room in the car for the former Champ Car champion, let alone in the line-up.
“Have you seen the size of Jimmy's waist?" he remarked, "He'd fit in a Toyota. Jimmy did his famous 'get-off-the-couch' to race at LBGP two years ago, and now he's back on the couch - and that's where he's going to stay. [Team manager] Mark [Johnson] wouldn't let him race.”
Vasser was a busy man Saturday afternoon in Long Beach. Besides his attention to the IndyCar team and winning the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, he held a press conference with Kalkhoven to confirm the worst-kept secret that Tracy is to run the #15 GEICO-backed car in the Indianapolis 500. This year will be Tracy's seventh 500, having come back last year at short notice to run with KVRT after a seven-year lay-off from the event. He ran as high as fourth, before finishing ninth, although Vasser said that, if PT hadn't hit an ECU on the track which put a hole in the car, he might have won. The plan is for KVRT to make further announcements at the 500 regarding running Tracy in the year's Canadian races and maybe more.
“We're not Lone Rangers in wanting PT back in the car," Vasser confirmed
KVRT will field four cars at Indy, with Tracy joining Takuma Sato, EJ Viso and Mario Moraes
“We have the best in Mark Johnson and, if he says it's okay, it's okay,” Vasser said when asked if the team had the resources for such a large entry.